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The Field of Cognitive Science Essay

Briefly describe the field of Cognitive Science. List and briefly describe two disciplines other than psychology that are considered part of Cognitive Science.

Cognitive science is a scientific study of the human mind. It involves the study of human intelligence from perception to reasoning. Its key methodology is the employment of scientific methods. It has diverse disciplines that contribute to its success in the study of the human mind. These disciplines include philosophy, linguistic, and neuroscience, among others. It also pays great attention to psychology, artificial intelligence, robotics, and anthropology (Solso et al, 2008).

Each of its disciplines plays a significant role in the study of the mind by bringing a distinctive set of tools and perceptions. Cognitive science has also a great relationship with computation. It is because the brain is considered as a processing unit in any living thing. Precisely, it processes and manipulates data to provide specific information. Thus, cognitive science can be observed as a unified field collaborating efforts of individuals working in different fields.

Neuroscience is one of the cognitive science disciplines that started as a branch of biology and later developed into an interdisciplinary science. It involves the study of computations, neural circuits, and behavioral changes as a result of brain injuries. It also plays a significant role in measuring brain activities when performing cognitive tasks (Solso et al, 2008). Additionally, it enables individuals to understand how the human brain maintains thoughts and perceptions. Cognitive neuroscience also provides some guidelines that aid in the understanding of brain structures and how they perform cognitive processing.

Cognitive anthropology is also a discipline of cognitive science that studies the interaction between human thoughts and culture. It studies how diverse societies organize and distinguish physical materials and events that make up the earth. It also pays attention to how people utilize the reality they learn from their respective cognitive faculties in life. Cognitive anthropology also proposes that every culture on earth organizes and comprehends events and ideas on their standards (Solso et al, 2008). Its key objective is to characterize other people’s logic systems to something that can be discovered and analyzed.

How does the brain divide processing between the two cerebral hemispheres? Briefly describe the kind of processing done by each hemisphere.

The division of responsibilities in the brain is so interesting. It leads to an individual developing an urge to know what the two hemispheres of the brain entail. Although the brain is formed in a way that allows it to work as a whole, the two halves are lateralized. The act of lateralizing the hemispheres enables the brain to perform unique and independent functions at a time. Occasionally, the right hemisphere manages the movements that take place at the left side of the body whereas the left hemisphere controls the movements that take place at the right side of the body.

The two hemispheres are connected with a fiber referred to as corpus callosum, which enhances the exchange of information between the two hemispheres. The corpus callosum also plays a significant role in coordinating and integrating the roles played by the two hemispheres.

The brain is divided into two hemispheres that carry out different roles. According to Solso et al (2008), the left hemisphere is logical and analytical. It plays a significant role in examining information analytically and literally. The left hemisphere also plays a significant role in managing the movements that take place on the right side of the body. Also, it grants people the opportunity of using language in their communication. Additionally, this hemisphere is not only very sensitive to time and physical appearance of places but also crucial in examining words it hears.

Unlike the left hemisphere, the right hemisphere is considered the sensitive and creative half of the brain. This half of the brain is sensitive to breathing space and whole figures. It pays attention to patterns on most occasions. Unlike the left hemisphere that examines words, this hemisphere pays more attention to the deep meaning of the pronounced words, people’s tones, and the body sign language (Robinson 2013, p.368).

Compare and contrast two models of attention. Which model do you find most convincing?

Attention, a mental activity that works uniquely, is very crucial in understanding almost all aspects of second and knew the language. Attention is like a stimulus that enables individual store information in a long term memory. It is evident that without attention no learning would take place. There are several attention models proposed in SLA, which include Filter theories of attention and the Robinson model of attention. Filter theories of attention propose that there exists a filter regulating the movement of stimuli. According to this model, information is processed in a sequence where the attention to one message blocks the attention to another.

Unlike Filter’s theories of attention, Robinson’s model of attention considers detection as an early stage in any process (Robinson 2013, p.43). He argues that attention comes before identifying and processing inputs. According to the Robinson model, noticing involves the unification of detection and rehearsal in the short-term memory before being encoded to long-term memory. Although old, Filter’s theories of attention are more convincing because most people tend to lose attention when concentrating on two things at the same time.

Describe the differences between Bottom-Up and Top-Down processing. Give an example of each from real life.

Top-down processing refers to the act of manipulating incentives through the use of general information. In top-down processing, there is a great utilization of understanding and involvement of the brain in sorting out issues. Occasionally, people use top-down processing in making conclusions on certain details. For instance, human beings can read pieces of writing because they mentally fill in the letters that make up a word via the aid of not only experience but also knowledge and memory (Dambacher 2010, p.10).

On the other hand, bottom-up processing refers to the usage of physical incentives in processing information. Unlike top-down processing, this type of processing depends on stimulus conveyed by the sensory receptors. It enables individuals to identify complex patterns (Solso et.al., 2008). For instance, most people, when presented with a word, look at its features, the letters, and entirely whole of it before reading it out.

What is the capacity of Short-Term Memory? Explain why the answer is not just some items.

Short-term memory has a very limited capacity. Although some authors claim that its capacity is about 7 items, it is evident that the storage of information cannot be quantified. On most occasions, people do things without following any chronological order, and as a result, they cannot quantify the exact things or incidents that they can remember. Additionally, the act of remembering is not selective. Thus, it is evident that the things humans can remember cannot, by any means be numbered.

Explain how the Levels of processing theory are useful in studying for a test.

According to the levels of processing theory, information is processed at different depths. The act of processing information can be either shallow or deep, depending on the demand for information. In most cases, deep processing involves analyzing information deeply to understand it fully. Shallow processing, on the other side, involves processing only surface or structure information. This theory aids an individual in revising for a test immensely.

On most occasions, individuals should employ extensive reading in their academic activities. Deep processing of information enables individuals to grasp ideas and store them in long-term memories. Additionally, it is crucial for an individual revising for a cat to employ shallow processing techniques while revising for a test. Shallow processing of information aids an individual in advancing his/her reasoning capabilities.


Dambacher, M. (2010). Bottom-up and Top-down Processes in Reading: Influences of Frequency and Predictability on Event Related Potentials and Eye Movements. New York: Universitätsverlag Potsdam.

Robinson, P. (2013). The Routledge Encyclopedia of Second Language Acquisition. New York: Routledge.

Solso, R. L., MacLin, O. H., & MacLin, M. L. (2008). Cognitive psychology. Boston, MA: Pearson Learning Solutions.

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